In our modern world, when loved ones die, we remain helpless witnesses of the transient nature of life, finding comfort in memories of the deceased and beliefs in an automatic eternal after life granted to them; free from suffering.
Tantra has a different view.
It considers death as a gateway between one dream to another.
It maps out the transition stages between the two, with the ultimate goal of directing the dreamer to wake up.
A psychopomp is someone who leads the deceased through this journey. In ancient cultures, it was the shaman, who traditionally filled this role, guiding the departed through the psychic terrain their mind stream will encounter after the cessation of their embodied existence.
Today the modern view stresses the efforts to be made to prolong the dying person’s life at all costs – trying to avoid and sometimes even deny the moment of death until it arrives. Then, when death does come inevitably, there occurs a sudden shift of focus for the relations into a cherished nostalgia for the deceased’s now terminated existence, ignoring the possibility that now they are dead, they might still be in need of the same level of attention they required whilst dying. This is a very ancient understanding that spanned cross culturally, which we have been trained to disbelieve in the West.
According to the Tantric view, our culturally sanctioned death ceremonies which center around highlighting the deceased’s qualities, actions, relations ext. are not only irrelevant to the newly departed at this stage, but also distracting for them as they navigate through a dreamlike intermediate phase before migrating to their next incarnation. These accepted modes of behaviour challenge the deceased’s continuing mind stream to recognize the opportunities this intermediate phase offers to self liberate, creating instead an astral noise which enhances their attachments to the imprints left over from their previous lifetime.
The aim of this workshop is to provide Tantric tools for dealing with death so we can both benefit ourselves and benefit others confronted with the “hour of truth”.
We will learn tools to help us expand our capacity to recognize the portal of death when it arrives and to assist those in the process of dying and the recently dead who have special needs overlooked by our materialistic society, training to become a tantric psychopomp.
This journey will have the following stages:
We first begin by exploring the concept of death and the afterlife as they were understood by ancient civilizations, over viewing Ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, Hindu and Tibetan death practices and the belief systems behind them all, emphasising the mutual principles behind them all rooted in common origin of shamanism.
Then we will focus on the Tantric view of death:
Its stages, signs, intermediate states, and doctrine of re-incarnation, studying Tibetan Tantric Buddhist resources such as the “Tibetan book of the dead”, “12 links of interdependent origin” and more.
We will perform guided meditations allowing us to simulate the death process according to the Tantric view, and explore past lives.
We will learn practical Tantric sublimation techniques to be utilized both for ourselves and others to assist in the transition at the time of death and how to help guide the deceased through the intermediate stages known as the “Bardo”.
We will learn how to care -take for the dead during their time transitioning through the intermediate stage: to shorten the time of their duration there and reduce suffering caused by attachments through Tantric tools.
We will learn how to work with dreams and sexual union to train to recognise the moment of death when it arrives,as dreaming and sex are the two portals which echo the portal of death acssesible to us whilst we are still embodied.